Perhaps the biggest inhibitor to success (and also the greatest ally for it) is your mindset. No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s reaching for new financial or professional goals or trying to get healthy, the mindset you bring into the pursuit can directly affect the outcome. Think back on a time when you failed at something; what was your mindset like during the pursuit? Were you constantly negative with yourself, talking yourself down or imagining that you would never accomplish your goal? Yoga is a practice that’s seeped into popular culture in the last few decades, and the numerous health benefits the practice offers shows exactly why. Here’s how yoga can help you get into a better mindset.
Slowing Things Down
We live in a fast-paced world; so fast, in fact, that it can be overwhelming sometimes. With everything we need at the press of a button or swipe on a screen, it can be difficult to find fulfillment in everyday activities. When life moves too fast, we tend to not even notice when weeks, months, and even years fly right by. Yoga helps to slow things down and bring our consciousness back to the moment at hand, rather than focusing on the future or the past.
Sometimes, the best way to reduce your stress is to just hit the brakes. Moving fast all the time can be exhausting, and cause much distress when things seem like they’ll never slow down. When you participate in yoga, you’re slowing both your mind and body down so that you can appreciate the time you have and the life you’ve created. Time is our most valuable resource, and yet our most unpredictable one as well; at any minute, we could have no time left at all. The great paradox of humanity is that many of us don’t even know what to do with all of the time we do have!
Improving Focus and Clarity
When you slow things down and take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and truly focus on the moment, you’ll find that not only is your focus improved, but your mental clarity as well. All of the rushing around and meeting deadlines and going to and fro can make us forget things, lose focus, and even experience brain fog, which can make the entire process of life that much more difficult. Yoga helps you slow down, focus on the moment, and clear your mind of any thoughts that would otherwise inhibit your relaxation.
You’ll find that among all the reasons to live that you can think of, enjoying the moment is among the most important. We often overlook the simplest and yet most fulfilling moments of our lives, eager to race to the next best thing or acquire the next beset material possession. In the race, we’re only ever losing to ourselves. Yoga can help you understand that it’s not actually a race at all, but rather a journey.
Reducing Stress & Anxiety
When you slow things down and improve your focus, you’re simultaneously reducing stress and anxiety. Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the US and maybe even the world? Americans are some of the most anxious people in the world, and when you look around at our lives, it’s not hard to see why. Constant ads on how we should dress, eat, look, feel, and act bombard our screens and billboards every minute; constant comparisons on social media keep us reaching for an unobtainable standard of beauty and lifestyle, societal pressure is constantly weighing down on every single decision we make.
The level of stress the average person experiences can actually shorten their lifespan if not managed properly. Stress directly impacts the brain, yes, but it also affects heart health as well. Yoga can help you manage stress and anxiety in a healthy way as opposed to consuming alcohol, drugs, or copious amounts of sugary foods.
Would you have guessed that getting a good night’s sleep is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle? That being said, not nearly enough people get a good night’s rest, which might explain our addiction to coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Yoga can help you relax, unwind, and clear your mind, which can help you feel, look, and sleep better than ever. When’s the last time you had a full eight hours free of interruption, distraction, or discomfort?
Physical Fitness and Confidence
Being physically fit is not only good for the body, but also positively impacts the mind. The boost in confidence and endorphins you get from working out can actually help improve your self-image and overall happiness over time. Not to mention, combined with a healthy diet, exercise in the form of yoga and other physical activity can create a healthy mind/body balance and keep you on your feet for years to come.